Japanese Cotton Cheesecake


Inspired by Uncle Tetsu's famous cotton cheesecake in Toronto. Fewer calories than your regular cheesecake! I use a cake pan that does not have a removable bottom, to prevent leakage. For a sweeter taste, brush the top with an apricot glaze before serving. The cake should be eaten chilled, but I prefer it warm when it's still light and airy. You can also serve it at room temperature.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 20 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 35 mins
8 servings


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 7 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (Optional)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (Optional)

  • ¼ cup cake flour

  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 6 large egg whites

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • ½ tablespoon confectioners' sugar, or as needed (Optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch round springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  2. Fill a pot about 1/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Combine and milk in a heatproof bowl large enough to sit on top of the pot without touching the water. Reduce heat to medium and whisk until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add honey and whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Remove bowl from heat.

  3. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, to the cream cheese mixture; whisk batter well after each addition. Add lemon juice and zest.

  4. Use a fine mesh strainer to sift flour, cornstarch, and salt into the batter. Whisk until blended together. Pour batter through the strainer into a clean bowl to remove any lumps. Set aside.

  5. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Whisking continuously, slowly adding white sugar, until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 the egg whites into the batter using a whisk. Fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into the prepared pan and tap on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles.

  6. Place a clean towel in the bottom of a shallow baking sheet. Place filled cake pan on top of the towel. Pour enough water into the baking sheet to come 1 to 2 inches up the side of the cake pan.

  7. Place baking sheet on the lowest rack of the preheated oven; bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Reduce temperature to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C), leaving oven door closed. Continue baking until mostly set but center is still jiggly, about 55 minutes more. Turn oven off and leave door ajar with cake inside for 30 minutes.

  8. Carefully remove cake from springform pan. Decorate with confectioners' sugar and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Cake may also be served at room temperature.

Cook's Note:

You can use heavy cream in place of the whole milk for an even creamier taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

274 Calories
18g Fat
22g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 274
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 174mg 58%
Sodium 204mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 114mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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